In 2021, the U.S. added 6.4 million jobs—more than any year in history. At the same time, the U.S. is seeing record high numbers of employees quitting each month, a phenomenon known now as The Great Resignation. With nearly 70% of full-time U.S. workers having worked remotely at some point and 25% of U.S. jobs anticipated to be fully remote by 2023, expectations for how and where we work—as well as how and where we find jobs—are changing.
That’s where Gather comes in. At Gather, we’re building a virtual universe to remove physical constraints on peoples’ lives and improve how people connect, communicate, and interact online—and in the workplace. One of our guiding tenets at Gather is that your location should not limit your opportunities. That’s why we’re delighted to see not just a movement toward remote-first workplaces but also toward online job fairs.
Online job fairs are the perfect low-effort, high-return option for recruiters and employers looking to expand their workforce. We’ve seen a variety of organizations host online job fairs in Gather, including universities, open-source communities, venture capital firms, incubators, workforce organizations, and even Meta. Let’s take a look at the benefits of hosting a virtual job fair in Gather and what you need to begin planning your own.
Reproduce reality. Gather uses spatial-proximity video chat, which reproduces the physical experience of walking around a job fair. People can easily step in and out of conversations and engage with marketing material as they visit each booth. It’s easy for job seekers to see which employers are free to talk one-on-one and which are talking to a larger group where they can slip in and listen to the conversation. Job seekers also bump into each other while browsing the booths, creating opportunities for networking.
Widen your talent pool. Hosting a job fair on Gather removes the constraints of physical location. By moving your job fair online, your attendees are not limited to only job seekers who are within reasonable driving distance—anyone can attend, no matter where they live.
Make it fun. Run with the visual aspect of Gather—pick unique templates, like the spaceship or botanical garden, and upload custom images to bring booths to life. Turn your virtual job fair into a scavenger hunt, giving prizes to attendees who visit all the booths. We’ve even seen some job fairs set up POAPs (proof of attendance protocols) that are awarded for attending the fair or for visiting all sponsor booths. With Gather, you can create an experience attendees won’t forget.
Cut your costs. The costs of a physical job fair add up—there’s the cost of the space, travel and lodging for non-local employers, print marketing materials, and all of the promotional pens, lanyards, and sticky notes that end up in the trash. Instead, you can focus your budget on marketing and the lower costs of an online platform, like Gather.
Easy set-up. You don’t have to pack tablecloths, tables, banners, swag, and promo material. You don’t have to get there hours early to arrange your display or stay late, tearing it down. Gather provides a variety of templates, with limitless opportunity to customize. While there’s a little bit of design work ahead of time (e.g., adding logos and links to promo material for each booth), all employers and job seekers have to do is just turn on their webcams, and they’re ready to connect.
How to Get Started
Nail down the basics. Set a time and date for the job fair, taking time zones and working hours into consideration. Decide if you are targeting a certain industry, skill level, or demographic (e.g., military members, recent grads, remote work, foreign labor).
Fill the booths. Contact employers and recruiters and explain the benefits of joining a virtual job fair on Gather. Encourage them to showcase digital marketing materials, like promo videos or PDF brochures, and to embed Google forms to collect job seeker info. Plan for each employer to send at least one representative. Invite them to include team leads or human resources if they want to host interviews on the spot.
Design the Space. Pick a template and use booth objects. You can ask employers to send you their logos, links, or marketing assets, or you can plan a time to show employers how Gather works and help them create the perfect custom booth.
Publicize the event. Use our events checklist to create a landing page so attendees can add the event to their calendar, share it, or save it to their upcoming Gather events. Share the landing page URL across all of your social media platforms and even share the Gather sizzle reel to build hype.
Prep the staff. Prior to the job fair, you may want to schedule a dress rehearsal or support hour to familiarize the employers and recruiters with the platform. You could also create an FAQ resource for staff and attendees, highlighting details like how to collect resumes and contact info, how to conduct one-on-one interviews, and what to expect throughout the event.
Host the fair. Encourage staff and attendees to log in a bit early to test their audio and video—you can even create a backstage room for employers and a lobby area for job seekers. Plan for at least one person to roam the virtual Space as support staff, checking in with employers and helping job seekers who have any questions.
Follow up. Follow up after the fair with both the employers and the job seekers. Get feedback on what worked well and what could be improved for next time. Encourage people to let you know if they extend or accept job offers. Take your lessons learned and apply them for your next virtual job fair!